There is a new study out, a survey conducted by PWC. They asked CEO’s to evaluate the importance of innovation to the future of their organization. A link to the survey is below.
The results reflect a few important items:
1 . The CEO’s believe they need Radical or Breakthrough Innovation, not just Incremental Improvements.
2 . CEO’s think Innovation needs to be part of the company DNA, not just the purview of a select few.
3 . The study shows CEO’s conclude innovation is as important as operational excellence.
4 . They see collaboration as the pathway to innovation success.
So in summary, CEO’s report that their company should put innovation at the forefront of their effort, they need to get everyone working on innovation together and all the time.
Knowing this…how to move forward? There may be two magical steps toward getting everyone to collaborate on innovation together and all the time.
· Make it a habit for everyone to offer contributions to the group.
· Make everyone feel they are part of the group.
I think we all know the success of a company-wide collaborative effort requires a long list of steps, but the principle steps are…
· Embrace a company-wide culture of innovation
· Communicate that stance to employees, vendors, partners and customers
· Positively acknowledge behaviors that fulfill that status
Several other studies may have made clear some tactics companies can use to get there.
Let’s try effectively programming everyone with new habits.
Habits form when we do something so often that it becomes automatic, sometimes even compulsive or involuntary. If making innovation oriented contributions becomes the new norm, then everyone will want to participate in normal behavior and make those contributions.
What is the definition of this new habitual behavior? Subjects are moved to make contributions to an innovation system as part of their normal workday over and over, and do so consistently whenever they get bored, in between other tasks, and when they do so purposely. Along with all those office apps (and probably Facebook or Twitter), the innovation portal is always open on everyone’s desktop.
The brain’s ability to form habits is actually one of its strengths. A habit is a powerful shortcut that helps us stay more productive: If we learn to react automatically to things in our environment, we preserve mental energy for the harder decisions.
· gets an idea,
· has a question,
· needs to research something, or
· knock off items on their to-do list,
…they are encouraged to consider tapping into the knowledge base found in the innovation portal as their very first step.
In this scenario we all embrace web 2.0 collaborative technology to perform our daily work; and as part of “our” group.
Bottom Line: We need to habitually collaborate on innovation.
Our group embraces innovation and the whole company is in our group.
We want to nurture our group loyalty. Anthropologists will tell us we learn to see ourselves and others as parts of particular groups. If we want everyone in our group to participate in the collaborative process working on innovation, we need to redefine everyone’s perception of what group to which they belong.
The key is to change how we perceive the permanence of our own personal qualities. If we think an identity or a situation in our own lives is fixed and unchangeable, we are more inclined to judge others negatively who don’t share that identity.
However, our perception of permanence can be open to adjustment. By reminding people that the categories we fall into may not be so fixed, we seem to be able to defuse the assumption that everyone would be happier if only they were like us. We’re looking at the malleability of our identities here.
We want to reshape our abilities to perceive our own relationships. The more we idealize our status and the more favorably we judge others who share it, the more powerful (and productive) our group becomes.
If we have an institutional incentive to produce innovation then creating a new and permanent forum to research, talk about, and solve serious innovation problems, is the pathway for everyone to feel compelled to contribute to the innovation needs of our group.
Bottom Line: Our group collaborates on innovation; it’s what we do.
Let’s work on redefining our approach to innovation. We’re not just going to run idea jams. We’re not just going to periodically run an idea contest.
We’re going to redefine our workplace as an ongoing, constant forum for collaboration where all of us are tasked with contributing innovative ideas to our group.
We’re all part of a new group that believes innovation is the foundation for our future. We habitually collaborate as part of our workday.
Good ideas and breakthrough innovation is the result.
PWC, “Unleashing the Power of Innovation”, 2013
J. Bayer, S. Campbell, “Computers in Human Behavior.” October 2013
Simon, Bernd; Brown, Rupert, Perceived intragroup homogeneity in minority-majority contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Oct 1987
Paris, Budapest, et al, An experimental investigation into the formation of intergroup representations† European Journal of Social Psychology 22 FEB 2006
D.Kille, R. Eibach, Series of studies, Psychological Science, October 2013
Ron Shulkin blogs, researches and writes about enterprise technology focused on social media, innovation, voice of the customer, marketing automation and enterprise feedback management. You can learn more about Ron at his biography web site:www.shulkin.net. You can follow him Twitter. You can follow his blogs at this Facebook group. You can connect with Ron on LinkedIn.